PhD Seminar Course on

The "new" science of networks

Cagliari, 9 July 2009

Instructor: Prof. Hugues Bersini
IRIDIA, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Duration: 2 hours
Schedule: 9 July 2009
Venue: Mocci Classroom
Topics: In this talk, I will comment on these last years enthusiasm for the apparently new science of networks, popularized by large audience books such as Barabasi’s “Linked” or Watts “Six degrees”. I will first sketch the 20 years of research in IRIDIA dedicated to neural networks, chemical reaction networks, immune and social networks, which make us more cautious regarding the new lessons to be addressed to biology or sociology. Although the far from random topology and the structural plasticity of networks emphasized in these books are of definitive importance, it is the beginning and not the end of the story. It is as much important to connect the dynamics (how the nodes evolve in time) with the structural changes (how new nodes enter and leave from the networks, how their connections can also change modifying the current dynamics). It is equally important to better understand, beyond the presence of hubs in the network, the role played by the topology of these networks in terms of “integrative functions”, robustness, communication among the nodes, memory of external impact. Some biological and sociological simulations will be shown and commented and what natural sciences can gain from such simulations critically analyzed.
Organizer: Prof. Luigi Raffo
Dep. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
University of Cagliari, Italy